The public merits briefing in Almerfedi v. Obama (No. 10-5291) is now complete. The government filed its reply brief earlier this week, adding to the petitioner’s response brief and the government's opening brief.
In its appeal, the government contests Judge Paul Friedman’s sole habeas merits opinion, in which he found the government had not proved that the petitioner was “part of” Al Qaeda. As we've previously written, the government urges the panel to find that the district court proceeded from principles of law that were later overturned by the D.C. Circuit in Al Adahi. It presents the following two questions for the court:
1. Whether the district court erred as a matter of law in failing to examine and take into account the mutually reinforcing nature of the evidence supporting the legitimacy of Almerfedi’s detention.
2. Whether the district court erred in failing to consider whether the petitioner’s implausible cover story was strong evidence supporting the denial of the writ.
Oral argument in this case is scheduled for April 11, 2011.